On December 9th this year the Museum will celebrate the centenary of the first powered flight in Australia through a joint meeting with the Royal Aeronautical Society and Aviation Historical Society of NSW and a small foyer showcase display.
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Solar car racing is not new. The Powerhouse Museum has one of the cars that competed in the world’s first transcontinental solar car race, then called the Pentax World Solar Challenge, in 1987. Ours, dubbed Solar Resource, was designed and built by a small team of Sydney engineers headed by Ian Landon Smith in the garage of a North Shore home.
Collecting and tinkering with engines is still a popular hobby today. Although fewer young people are getting involved than in the past, some are discovering the fascination of these objects and the skills to be developed by working with them.
Name Ian Debenham (retired February 2010) What is your specialty area? In a former life, I was a Licence Aircraft Maintenance Engineer with Qantas who left and obtained an Honours Degree in Ancient History - Roman economic history to be precise.
Having our collection available to search on line, featured in TV shows like 'The Collectors', and in the media, has seen many people contacting us with information about our objects. Sometimes they are researching their family history or the object was previously owned by them or their ancestors.
The Powerhouse Museum’s
In view of the media interest in the re-enactment of the first flight across the English Channel in a Bleriot XI monoplane last week, I thought our blog readers would like to know that the Powerhouse has one too.
Under the supervision of the Museum’s Engineering conservator, Ross Goodman, and a dedicated group of volunteers, Steam Locomotive 3265 has been extensively rebuilt and once again will be fully operational and carrying passengers.
Photo courtesy of The Bank of England Three early Boulton and Watt rotative steam engines still exist, and all are held by museums: Boulton's own Lap engine in the London Science Museum, the Barclay Perkins engine in the National Museum of Scotland, and our very own Whitbread engine.
At first glance, this drawing shows an old building holding a steam engine and other machinery. Then the eye focuses on the figures, men in formal eighteenth century Russian dress; perhaps they are there to provide scale, or to suggest that this is an important building holding important machinery.
My specialty area is the transport collection – I’ve researched everything from a steam car to a tram hearse, luxurious railway carriages to a shearer’s bicycle.